The world today generates around two and a half quintillion bytes of data each day, which, according to analysts, will reach four hundred and sixty-three exabytes by 2025, propelled by the increasing popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Companies of all sizes are jockeying for a share of the massive amount of data generated via internet-connected hardware, striving to store the information in their databases for actionable insights that drive business growth.
Organizations, however, need a domain-specific, standardized solution to manipulate, process, and access information stored in their databases, and this is where SQL, or the Structured Query Language, comes into play.
What Is SQL?
Developed by Donald D. Chamberlin and Raymond F. Boyce in the early 1970s, SQL, even to this day, remains the most preferred query language for streamlining the management of database structures.
Compatible with most modern technologies, SQL simplifies the data collection, storage, and information retrieval process while allowing a database to run on multiple computers concurrently, thereby heightening its usability in workplaces.
Top companies, such as Netflix, Uber, Instagram, Flipkart, Amazon, and Linkedin, as well as many small businesses, leverage the Structured Query Language to extract information for data-centric analysis, database upgrades, and maintenance.
Deep knowledge of SQL is an asset for anyone who wants to secure a data-related job. Let's talk about ten practical applications of SQL that you need to be acquainted with to understand how SQL expands job opportunities.
Applications of SQL in Healthcare
Organizations in the healthcare industry typically make use of SQL to analyze large data sets containing information about patient behavior, their medical conditions, and demographics. Healthcare data analysis allows medical professionals to gain critical insight, which contributes toward developing specific solutions for solving problems.
Use of SQL in the Finance Industry
Apps from banks, financial institutions, and online payment processors, for example, Stripe, store vital data about users and their financial transactions. Behind the scenes are complicated database systems powered by SQL, which not only enable the delivery of personalized experiences to users but also enable the extraction of actionable insights that serve to check for fraud.
Applications of SQL in Social Media
Most social media networks process a significant amount of data every second. Platforms, such as Snapchat and Instagram, make use of SQL to store the profile information of users. The Structured Query Language allows them to update the database of their app when users create new posts or share photos, and it also facilitates the recording of messages, enabling users to retrieve messages later.
Use of SQL in Music Apps
SQL helps music apps, such as Pandora and Spotify to store and process data related to user preferences, allowing these apps to make personalized recommendations from vast libraries of music albums and music files by different artists.
Applications of SQL in Marketing
In addition to the obvious applications of SQL in data administration and data science, the query language is also being increasingly used in strategizing marketing policies. Companies, both tech and non-tech alike, are relying on SQL to identify their target audience, learn more about consumer behavior patterns, and analyze the effectiveness of running marketing campaigns.
Use of SQL in Back-end Development
Back-end web developers are responsible for facilitating the integration of databases with front-end software, minimizing data corruption, and eliminating bugs - all of which ensure the seamless delivery of applications to end-users. The use of SQL is widespread in back-end web development, as it allows for an upgrade, insertion, and retrieval of data.
Applications of SQL in Database Administration
The primary task of a database administrator is to update an organization's online database and maintain its integrity, so that data can rest in a secure environment. Database administrators of businesses, universities, hospitals and other such institutions make use of SQL to capture and process confidential information about users, employees, students, or patients, without much hassle.
Use of SQL in Data Analysis
The responsibility of a data analyst involves the sorting of massive data sets and discovering trends and combinations from data that organizations can use to efficiently manage their business. The use of SQL plays a crucial role in data analysis, as the Structured Query Language can streamline the process of gaining insights from huge volumes of data, utilizing a variety of conditional commands.
Applications of SQL in Structuring the Architecture
To support the server/client architecture, software engineers rely on SQL to establish the connection between the back-end and front-end. Utilizing the query language as part of 3-tier architecture involving the client, database, and application is also a key use of SQL that provides a logical structure to the design architecture.
Use of SQL in Data Science
In data science, the use of code and algorithms in SQL is wide-ranging. Data scientists make use of SQL code and algorithms to create a data model that analysts can use to explore data and discover business-specific trends and combinations in that data.
Benefits of Using SQL
The use of SQL brings a wide range of advantages, which include:
- Faster Processing Speed: SQL offers high-speed data processing that allows for faster data retrieval.
- Minimal Requirement of Coding: SQL's code structure is simple and user-friendly. Even people with no experience in coding can learn SQL.
- Easier Data Manipulation: With a few queries, data analysts and scientists can view, analyze, or update the data in a database.
- Better Data Mining: The Structured Query Language sorts and filters data efficiently, making data more useful and relevant.
- Restricted Access: Password-protected systems ensure a secure environment.
- Reliable for Complicated Queries: In comparison to other DBMS or Database Management systems, SQL is more reliable for complex queries.
Must-Have Skills for a Career in SQL
Skills in Structured Query Language help data professionals create, maintain, and retrieve data from a relational database while allowing for efficient updating, manipulation, and insertion of data. Essential SQL skills to jumpstart a career as an SQL practitioner include:
- Familiarity with Microsoft's SQL server
- Database management expertise
- Knowledge of PHP
- Proficient with Indexing
- Mastery over related SQL systems, such as PostgreSQL and MySQL
- OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) skills
- Thorough understanding of SQL Joins
- Acquaintance with database architecture
The knowledge of SQL is highly coveted among companies that are involved in end-to-end app development, run high-traffic websites, or offer data migration solutions. Data from Indeed shows that the demand for SQL skills is growing steadily, up from 35.7 percent in 2017 to 42.7 percent in 2021. The escalating demand for SQL is only matched by the lucrative pay packages and benefits that SQL professionals enjoy.
Here's a snapshot of SQL developer salaries across the world.
The average salary of an SQL Developer in the US is $87,973 per year.
The average salary of an SQL Developer in India is ₹4,38,815 per annum.
The yearly average salary of an SQL Developer based in the UK is £47,961.
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Regardless of whether you are a product manager, a web developer, an MBA, or a business analyst, learning the world's most-used query language will boost your chances of landing a high-paying job.
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